More than a third of Prius owners get another one, finds CarMax

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When it’s time to replace their cars, many Toyota Prius owners choose another of the hybrids, according used-car retailer CarMax.

More than 38% of CarMax customers who own a Prius purchase another one, according to the company. That makes the Prius the model with the highest loyalty in CarMax’s inventory. The Prius displaced the Chevrolet Corvette, which had the highest model loyalty the last time CarMax conducted a similar survey, in 2017.

2017 Toyota Prius

Toyota also had the highest loyalty as a brand, with 28.5% of current Toyota owners getting another, according to CarMax’s data, ahead of Mercedes-Benz (27.9%) and its own Lexus luxury brand (27.7%). Lexus had the highest brand loyalty in CarMax’s 2017 survey.

This also appears to be a bit of a turnaround versus last year, when CarMax underscored that Prius owners were trading in their vehicles for EVs, like the Nissan Leaf. Toyota was also the most traded-in brand for EVs at that time—perhaps not surprising for a brand that current has only one EV in its U.S. lineup.

2013 Toyota Prius liftback

2013 Toyota Prius liftback

That same analysis also found last year, ahead of used-EV tax-credit eligibility, prices were rising on used plug-in hybrids. Search volume for plug-in hybrids also expanded significantly in 2022, but appeared to peak that year, CarMax noted when publishing these results.

On the new-car front, data has shown that for years, Honda and Toyota customers have been defecting to Tesla. But this new CarMax analysis shows that nearly 10 years after the arrival of affordable long-range EVs, the Prius is maintaining some of its cachet, if not as a status symbol, as a very frugal pick.

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